St. Mary’s Church, Sompting

The watercolour of today’s chapter was acquired at the same time as last weeks topic.  It once again is unsigned and undated but I estimate this painting and the last to be roughly the same age .  The church at Sompting, West Sussex is a very unique building indeed for atop it’s Saxon tower sits a Rhenish Helm.  The only example of a Saxon tower with four-sided pyramid-like gabled spire.  A Grade 1 listed building defined as being of “exceptional interest” and greater than national importance.

St Mary's Church, Sompting, Sussex artist unknown @ 1800+

St Mary’s Church, Sompting, Sussex artist unknown @ 1800+

The tower was most likely re-roofed in 1762 at which time the overall height was decreased by some 25 feet.  Testing has suggested that the roof timbers date from 1300 to 1330 which means that the roof we see today was built by the Knights Hospitallers who took possession from the Knights Templar in 1310.

The painting may be by Octavia Dodson as with last chapters topic which places the age of the painting around 1880.

Once again the architecture is well imaged and the use of warm earth tones imbue a warm and welcoming feel to the presentation of place.

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